Everything seemed to be going smoothly for the Seahawks. After a touchdown pass from Tarvaris Jackson to Golden Tate made the score 17-7 with under ten minutes left in the 4th quarter, I assumed that the game was over. The Redskins, however, made an improbable and somewhat miraculous comeback.
The Redskins pieced together a drive that ended on a stunning run by rookie running back Roy Helu. Helu broke around the right end of the line, hurdled one Seahawk defender, broke the tackle of another, and galloped in 28 yards for a touchdown.
After the Seahawks failed to tack more points on the board, the Redskins shocked Seattle again when Rex Grossman threw up a wishful 50-yard pass that was caught in the end zone by receiver Anthony Armstrong. The two quick Redskin touchdowns were especially shocking considering how well they had been bottled up by the Seahawk defense prior to the fourth quarter.
Marshawn Lynch had another big game for the Seahawks, but was unable to get much support from Tarvaris Jackson and Seattle passing attack. Lynch finished the game with 111 yards on 24 carries and also caught a 20 yard touchdown pass. The problem was that Jackson completed less than 50% of his passes for just 144 yards. There have yet to be many performances by the offense where both Lynch AND Jackson have good games at the same time.
Seattle’s passing game is frustratingly inconsistent. Sidney Rice left the game against the Redskins with another head injury (potentially his second concussion in 15 days), and Jackson is still trying to fully heal from his injured pectoral muscle. He is noticeably not 100% as some of his passes lack the zip that he is capable of putting on them, and the sooner he gets healthy, the better. Charlie Whitehurst had several opportunities to play earlier this year, and did not make the most of them, so Jackson is definitely the guy for now.
Defensively, one area where Seattle struggled was putting pressure on Rex Grossman. Grossman is known for erratic play, and threw two interceptions against the Seahawks. However, he also threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns. I wish the Seahawks had been in his face more, as it could have forced him into more hurried decisions and more turnovers. Pass rush has been an issue for the Seahawks outside of defensive end Chris Clemons. If he is held in check, opposing quarterbacks have been able to sit in the pocket and take their time making reads.
The only real standout for the Seahawks on defense yesterday was Red Bryant. He blocked a field goal and an extra point, bringing his total number of blocked kicks on the season to four. I’ve never seen anyone have so much success blocking kicks.
Aside from an off day from Tarvaris Jackson and a sub-par defensive effort in the fourth quarter, penalties were the other major issue for Seattle. The Seahawks were called for 13 penalties, and continue to be one of the most penalized teams in the NFL. This is hardly surprising considering the vast amount of roster turnover Seattle has had and the fact that Seattle is the third-youngest team in the league. Still, this is an area that needs improvement if the Seahawks hope to win games.
The loss against the Redskins virtually ends any chance the Seahawks had of getting involved in the playoff picture. Pete Carroll will still be coaching for wins, but I’d expect to see more playing time for backups, rookies, and young players. Carroll will want to see what everyone has to offer and develop future starters. Another thing to keep in mind is every additional win the Seahawks record will lower their draft pick. I’m not sure whether I hope they lose the rest of their games to get a player like Matt Barkley in the first round, or whether they win a few more, finish around .500, and get a mediocre draft position.
Sunday’s loss was another disheartening, disappointing experience for fans. It’s tough to be upbeat after results like the Redskins game. The only thing I keep in mind is that the team is focused on the FUTURE. The Seahawks weren’t supposed to make any sort of playoff run this year, and really do have a nice young core of players to build around.
About the Author
Written by Erik Olsoy
Erik was born in Columbus, Ohio during the only Ohio State football victory over Michigan in the 1980s, but moved to Washington state and grew up there. His loyalty to Ohio State remains strong, but his strongest allegiances developed toward Seattle sports. Though he recently graduated from Boston College, he has not yet been converted to the ways of New England Sportsdom, and only roots for the Red Sox against the Yankees because the Yankees are the root of all evil.